"Ever notice how being a special needs mom means that you have to be really creative in your thinking?" Barb recently emailed me. She's mom to Rhys, who's 8 and has cerebral palsy. And, yes, I knew exactly what she meant. I've always been an out-of-the-box thinker but since having Max, I have become uber-uber-uber-resourceful. Barb had a great story to tell:
"Before Christmas, I was sitting on the floor with my son's wheelchair headrest in pieces, trying to rebuild it so that it would work better because the one we have is terrible. As I am doing this I think to myself, 'Who knew that becoming a Mom would mean that I need to be a mechanical engineer?' And then it hit me—I am not a mechanical engineer, but there is a great university 45 minutes away with a top-ranked mechanical engineering department. So I sent them an email, a desperate email begging for help. Today I had two seniors at my house measuring and taking photos to start the process of rebuilding the headrest, and a mount for the Dynavox! Utilize all the local resources—what's the worst they can do, say no? How are you any worse off?"
Exactly. Me, I've done everything from requesting therapy help at a local college's occupational therapy department to having a seamstress make special absorbent bibs for Max. As amazing as it is to have Team Max—his therapists, teachers and doctors—sometimes the best ideas have come from me. [Pats self on the back.]
It also helps to be shameless and super-pushy, two winning traits when it comes to having a kid with special needs (I once described myself as a "bulldozer.") I'm not so much this way in real life but, man, when it comes to Max I will ask anything and do anything for him.
What sort of resourceful things have you done lately to help your child? Please share, so your brilliance can help others! And allow me to give you big old cyber pat on the back.